For years, researchers have found teacher professional development programs to be largely ineffective. But a new and growing body of research suggests that professional learning, done well, can both increase teacher morale and raise student outcomes. This means it is:
- Grounded in the content and curriculum of the teachers receiving it;
- Dependent on the expertise of facilitators or colleagues;
- Designed to facilitate teacher collaboration and;
- Aligned with the stated goals, standards and policies of the school or school system.
In short, effective professional learning should be relevant, so teachers should not perceive a disconnect between it and their daily work. And, quality is more important than quantity — how valuable the experiences are matters more than the number of hours spent in the training.
Still, despite these promising outcomes, research on teacher professional learning too often focuses on whether a program works, not on the how and why. More information is needed about specific features that make some programs more effective than others, so designers understand how to create and implement better teacher learning opportunities. The Research Partnership for Professional Learning, a collaboration of professional learning organizations and researchers at the Annenberg Institute at Brown University, is uniting experts to drive a transformation of professional learning research and practice in the United States. By pushing the field forward through the study of effective design, the partnership hopes to encourage the development of learning opportunities that both engage teachers in their own professional development and accelerate their acquisition of new knowledge and skills.
For more, see: https://www.the74million.org/article/johnson-teacher-professional-development-is-in-a-rut-but-better-research-can-help-new-partnership-is-looking-to-do-just-that/